Smart-Review is supported by our readers. When you buy through our links, we may earn a commission... Learn more Top Rated Products

CES 2013 Whats New in HD Camcorders

March 11, 2013 by  
Filed under Camcorder Articles, Digital Camcorders

Consumer Electronics Show 2013 attended the Consumer Electronics show in Las Vegas (CES 2013) to bring back information on the latest camcorders for 2013. Here is a short overview of what caught our attention at the show in regards to the latest HD Camcorders. For 2013 we are seeing incremental changes to the high end camcorders. Last year we saw the introduction of Balanced Optical Steadyshot, a breakthrough image stabilization technology from Sony. This technology has moved to many more and lower priced models this year. For professional camcorders we saw several 4K camcorders from JVC, Panasonic and Sony. Sony introduced a Professional Full Frame 35mm Camcorder with interchageable lenses. WiFi connectivity has been added to more camcorders. This gives the ability to upload video to mobile devices, and even steam video over WiFi. More camcorders have 5.1 surround sound microphones this year. 2013 models have been released, while the 2012 models are being heavily discounted.

Our 2014 CES coverage will be coming shortly.

Sony HDR-PJ790V Camcorder

Sony HD Handycam Camcorders for 2013: Sony has revamped its line, and offers built in projectors in most of its line of consumer camcorders. The projector is built into the LCD door. It can project an image up to 100 inches from 15 feet. It is quite impressive (see video below). Sony had a demonstration of the projector in a darkened room, showing an iPAD hooked up to the new “projector-in” port of the Sony HDR-PJ790V to project content from this iPad. We were quite impressed by this little projector. The top of the line HDR-PJ790V has the brightest projector of the line (at 35 lumens vs. 20 lumens from last year’s model). The resolution of the projector on this model has also improved substantially. The new “projector-in” port is available on all 2013 projector models, allowing you to project not just camcorder video, but content (movies, pictures, documents, games) from your laptop, smartphone or tablet.

Sony Balanced Optical Image Stabilization and other features (click for video)

Sony Balanced Optical SteadyShot™: Sony for its higher and mid end camcorders has created a new type of image stabilization called Balanced Optical SteadyShot™ (introduced in 2012), that goes from the lens to the imager, giving a much stabler picture, up to 13 times better than regular image stabilization (see video below). The lens system floats inside the camcorder. The results are stunning, and look like you are using a Steadycam. This is a breakthrough technology which is available on more models this year, including the top of the line Sony HDR-PJ790V (projector), the Sony HDR-PJ650V (projector), the Sony HDR-PJ430V (projector), and the Sony HDR-CX430V (lowest priced with this technology). Many of the new camcorders have a 5.1 surround sound built-in microphone. The Sony HDR-PJ790V is the only model with a surround sound microphone elevated above the body of the camcorder, for better sound, and for windscreen options (includes a windscreen that slips over the microphone).

Sony NEX-VG900

Sony's NEX-VG900 with 24-70mm Lens at CES 2013

Sony Interchangeable Lens Camcorder: In late 2012, Sony introduced the world’s first Full Frame interchangeable lens camcorder, the Sony NEX-VG900. We previewed this model at CES 2013, and found it to have excellent build quality, and changing lenses was very easy. The camcorder can take Sony E and A-Mount lenses, and comes with an adapter. The camcorder also features a high end 5.1 channel surround sound microphone with 4 mics. Its EVF (electronic viewfinder) is an OLED screen with an amazing 2.35 megapixel display (most EVFs have 1/10 the resolution that is on this camcorder).

Many of the 2013 Sony Camcorders now have the ability to record in AVCHD or MP4 (smaller file sizes for Web sharing). A new multi-interface shoe was also introduced for a range of accessories.

Related Article: Sony 2013 Camcorder Lineup and Comparison

Canon's New HF G20 HD Camcorder

Canon HD Camcorders for 2013: Canon introduced 3 new HF R-Series models for 2013. This includes the HF R42 (32GB), the HF R40 (8GB), and the HF R400 (Flash memory). These all feature a 1/4.85-inch CMOS sensor. The battery life for these models has dramatically improved from last year’s models. This year we see the addition of a 60p progressive recording mode (great for sports). And an MP4 mode that can record up to 35mbps has also been added. They all get the new Digic DV4 processor.

Some of the “R” series models are able to connect to internet by WiFi, allowing you to share your pictures and video to media sites including Youtube and Facebook. You also have the ability to connect to an iphone, android phone, or tablet using a free upload App. You can control your camcorder remotely over WiFi. These camcorders also give you the option to record in AVCHD or MP4. AVCHD is best for HDTV viewing, while MP4 is best for sharing on mobile devices and social media sites.

High End Canon Consumer Camcorders: The highly rated Canon Vixia G10 has been replaced in 2013 with the new Canon Vixia G30 flagship top of the line consumer model. There were substantial changes made to this model including, a new larger HD CMOS sensor (improved low-light performance), larger eyecup, better lens hood, built-in WiFi, added 60p recording, MP4 recording, PCM audio, and super high resolution OLED touchscreen. The viewfinder now has 5x the resolution of most EVF viewfinders. Canon also introduced the Canon Vixia G20 which is cheaper than the G30, but with less features.

Canon Pro Camcorders: The Canon Pro XA10 remains as the lowest priced Canon Pro camcorder and includes two built-in XLR audio input terminals and nightvision. Canon for 2013 has also introduced the updated Pro model Canon Pro XA20 which has a larger imager, double the zoom (now 20x optical), and built-in WiFi.

Related Article: Canon 2013 Camcorder Lineup and Comparison

Panasonic HC-X920 Camcorder

Panasonic HD Camcorders for 2013: Panasonic for 2013 has introduced several new Full HD camorders, including the flagship HC-X920.

The top of the line for Panasonic consumer 2013 camcorders is the Panasonic HC-X920 (which replaces last year’s HC-X900). This model has features not on the other models. This includes a 3MOS sensor (3 imagers), which improves image quality. The 3MOS Sensors for 2013 are now backside illuminated for better low light sensitivity. The imagers are much larger as well, going from 1/4.1″ to 1/2.3″. This model adds new WiFi features, including the ability to stream live video over the internet. The mid-range HC-V720 (replaces the HC-V700) has a new single large 1/2.3″ MOS imager, and is backside illuminated, which will be good for low light video. This model includes new WiFi features as well. Adds a 5.1 surround sound recording microphone, and microphone input jack.

Panasonic has discontinued making HDD (Harddrive) camcorders in 2012 and 2013, in favor of those that use flash memory. The star of the show was Panasonic’s prototype 4K camcorder (4x the resolution of HD). The images it took were stunning. See the video below showing this remarkable technology.

Related Article: Panasonic 2013 Camcorder Lineup and Comparison

JVC GY-HMQ10 4K Camcorder

JVC HD Camcorders for 2013: For 2012 and 2013 the biggest news for JVC is its 4KCam camcorder. The GY-HMQ10 is the first 4K Camcorder of its kind, and sells for about $5,000.00 which is hefty for consumers, but actually reasonable for a Professional device that can take video at this resolution (3840 x 2160) which has a resolution 4 times regular 1080p HD video. The footage we saw (CES 2012) on a Toshiba 4K hdtv was absolutely stunning.

See our video below of the JVC 4KCam:

Related Article: Best Rated HD Camcorders

Related Article: 2013 HD Camcorder Buying Guide

Copyright© 2013 This Article may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part without the express written permission of